Well, you learn something new everyday, I hope
I was weighing the propriety of putting this up. Not because of any reason other than "do many people suffer from this?" but then co-author of our forthcoming GUT BIOME book, Tim Steele, gave me a clue that reminded me of an experience and it became necessary to put it out there.
The email from a non-anonymous source, name withheld by request for obvious reason.
First, I would like to thank you for popularizing the phenomenon that is resistant starch. Second, if you chose to use this story, please withhold my name.
In my early twenties I was eating SAD. A strange tumor, an abscess, formed near my rectum. After a lot of trouble it was diagnosed as anal fistula. Nasty condition. They said that the only form of treatment is an operation with some chance of success, but also with some chance that I would not be able to hold my bowels normally. So I decided to live with it, because I could live with it—and it would be better than involuntarily making a nasty mess someplace. Pain was there—blood and pus as well. But it was manageable.
10 years later I improved my diet and lost some weight, but the fistula was still there. I decided to check in with the doctors as new methods of therapy for resolving fistula had appeared. They started with an MRI scan and a colonoscopy.
...In the meantime I tried to lose some more weight with the help of The Potato Hack. I don't have a microwave at work so I ate them cold.
Imagine that, in two weeks, all symptoms of anal fistula disappeared, and AFTER 10 YEARS OF SUFFERING. JUST LIKE THAT: No blood coming out of it, no pus, no pain.
I was familiar with the topic of resistant starch, then suddenly connected the dots.
The doc, when he saw this, was really surprised. Me too. Now I'm taking Potato Starch religiously and not a single event from fistula. That never happened before. It was sometimes better, sometimes worse, but an absolute clean state was not achievable with any other approach (and I did try everything, trust me).
As my wife is a biotechnologist, she dug up a publication called Resistant Starch: Promise for Improving Human Health. Well, it certainly improved mine! I'm planning to show it to my doc. Perhaps he'll understand that this is not "alternative" medicine, but pure science.
RS healed me so far. It is now almost three months without problems (after ten years of suffering!) And that's for a condition that according to wikipedia is curable only with an operation.
So thank you, and for any chance that somebody with fistula will read this and this will help them also. That is the sole reason why I am writing this.
So after the story and that last line, I pretty much have to put it out there, right? Can you imagine the displeasure? What a quality of life improvement, if it works for anyone else.
Here's what Tim had to say:
Dogs get this all the time—usually diet related. Sled dog kennels in Alaska are notorious for feeding their dogs the cheapest, shittiest dog food they can find because sled dogs eat a lot. Try feeding dozens of big, hungry, cold dogs on a limited budget!
One of the common jobs that needs done at a sled dog kennel is "butt milking." They need to go and squeeze the pus out of the dogs asses (anal fistulas) so the dogs can poop.
Sled dog kennels that feed their dogs fish and raw meat don't have this problem, only when they feed them the crap in a bag that is $10 for 50lbs at Sam's Club. Makes sense that a diet change favorable to gut microbes would clear up anal fistulas in humans, too.
Human Anal Fistula: Looks dire; requires surgery and antibiotics!
Dog Anal Fistula: Just switch to better diet!
I truly believe that humans ought to start going to veterinarians for health problems. Free the Animal. But yea, one time the cute bitch started scooting on her ass a lot, so Bea had me take her in and the anal glands were the first thing the vet checked. Turned out to be a Mark I, Mod A itchy butt hole only. Poor things, lacking the easily available tools to deal with it. Now, knowing that, I just turn the garden hose on it.
...BTW, after about 4 days with Beatrice living at the dog hospital all last week, sometimes not getting back until 4am (out by 9), it was over about 1pm last Friday. In the end, it was renal failure that got my 10,000 mile walking buddy.
Here's my public Facebook posts about it for anyone interested, and thanks so much to all for the outpourings of sympathy on all channels. You people are great. Life is certainly easier. It's not any better. And being so sorrowful is silly. Or, it's not. Dogs aren't people...
Killers (Credit: Alessandro Rugge, PhD)